I remember as a young teenager going into “Head Shops” in the east village and other stores around town where anyone could buy a nickel bag of weed. Head shop’s, as they were once called, where really Tobacco stores back in the days, There you could buy things like bongs, zigzags, and lots of cigarettes; sometimes even hash. We could roll up to ten or more joints of cannabis, from a nickel bag, but it was illegal to buy and if I caught with any weed jail-time and fines would apply. I never got caught by luck, and deciding the risk was to high for getting high, cannabis became the bad guy and the police the enforcers.
So to hear Nixon say, “that New York must go further than just legalizing and that it must also expunge the records of previous cannabis offenders” including and especially minorities records. It is great news, but too late for those who served prison time and the families it broke with it’s more than BS laws over decades. This will put in motion what should have happened ages ago resolving the disproportionately amount of charges against minorities who this law truly affected.
Instead of breaking up families and throwing fathers, brothers, into a cycle of breaking laws created to incarcerate and victimize the community. Now will come the time where the money made by law abiding citizens can pay for boys and girls clubs, drug treatment facilities, and more. Let’s improve our communities this will help minorities more than hand-outs to mom’s and children of incarcerated fathers ever will. You want to stop paying for children’s lunch? Stop putting their fathers in jail. You want to stop crime in our streets? Stop throwing half of the community in jail then throwing out into the streets with criminal records that won’t allow them the opportunity to have jobs that will protect their families. People aren’t born stupid, but they are born poor. Stop the bleeding; let our people go.
Author- Michele Jolie